Drummers turned exceptional singers are a small fraternity. Dave Grohl, Iggy Pop and Karen Carpenter are some percussionists, who found their true calling as vocalists. The beguiling Car Astor is on her way to joining that exclusive club.
The striking Long Island native grew up behind a kit. “Since I was 13 I was a drummer,” she says. “I never thought I would become a singer. I always assumed someone else would be singing but I had to do it.”
But necessity is indeed the mother of invention. “I was writing all of the music in a band and the singers weren’t all that great,” she says. “I couldn’t find anyone else. I was frustrated and I gave it a shot.”
Wise move. It’s evident that Car Astor found her calling while listening to the anthemic and atmospheric “Green Line Killer.” Car Astor’s voice soars over the dense pop gem. Car Astor possesses a mix of subtlety and power. The charismatic entertainer knows when to pull back but is also capable of delivering that sonic punch to the gut during “Green Line Killer.”
“When I wrote the lyrics for that song it was about the experience of falling in love,” Car Astor says. “I wanted to capture that elusive feeling.”
Each of the five tracks from her EP “Ties,” which dropped in 2016, are filed under love songs. “I don’t usually talk about my feelings but I write songs about love,” Car Astor says. “I like writing that type of song. I try to get personal. Every lyric has a purpose.”
Car Astor came of age listening to such ace wordsmiths as Neil Young, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, and Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks. “I love the way each of those artists writes a story,” Car Astor says. “I love the imagery. I love music. I was obsessed with No Doubt, Paramore and Avril Lavigne when I was a kid.”
Now it’s Car Astor’s turn to stir it up as a recording artist. “Potions,” a soothing but sultry gem, is a perfect showcase for Car Astor’s ethereal voice, which is reminiscent of The Sunday’s sublime Harriet Wheeler.
Car Astor’s seemingly delicate voice rises above the electro-folk of the moody “Blue Await.”
“I really like how ‘Blue Await’ turned out and maybe that’s because my favorite songs are ballads,” Car Astor says. “There are not enough good ballads out there.”But then how does Car Astor explain the potent ‘Green Line Killer’? “I’m very Gemini,” Car Astor explains. “At the end of the day, I like differences. I do like the loud, soft dynamic.”
That’s so sometimes in the same song, which explains the poignant ‘She Cries.’ “I do what feels right to me,” Car Astor says. “I’m not chasing trends.” Brad Wood (Liz Phair, Smashing Pumpkins) helped guide Car Astor since he produced “Ties.”
“I learned a lot from Brad,” Car Astor says. “He made an impact with so many great artists. It was so cool to work with him and take what I picked up from him as I continue to develop my craft.”
And what about the name Car Astor? “That name has been in my head since I was 13,” Car Astor says. “My name is Carley and of course, the first letter is “C.” It’s just a name. I would rather not be known for my name. I want to be known for my music.”
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